Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 5

October 4th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

It’s the last week of #1s for the New 52 and it’s an interesting one. The last few weeks have been filled with comics that I had been genuinely looking forward to, but not so much for this week. This week it’s nothing but DC trying to win me over. Characters I don’t care for, characters I’ve never read before and a couple comics that feature heroes in new comics that already set the bar high. Let’s dive in.

First is All-Star Western by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat, which surprised me as being one of the top three of the week. Nothing says “western” like a fictional city in New Jersey, but whatever. I bet they figured that despite being a pretty awesome character, Jonah Hex’s name was too poisoned by the recent movie to carry the title. Or they’re going to be doing non-Hex stories down the line. Anyway, it’s an interesting pairing with Hex and Dr. Arkham, with the latter reminding me of the biographer character from Unforgiven, only with actual talents to keep him useful. It’s a murder mystery from the past mixed with a buddy cop movie… only the two will surely still hate each other by the story’s end.

I like that with Arkham around, we have a protagonist who could talk down at Hex to us as being something of a monster (though he’d never have the balls to do so to Hex’s face) and yet we have our cake and eat it too by being able to follow and root for Hex as the other protagonist. A prostitute gets fridged because, well, there’s nobody else to really get at someone like Hex through and even that only shakes him up verbally. With his gritty know-how and Arkham’s occasionally helpful brilliance, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before they have this wrapped up with no problem. Then the ending turns it all on its ear where even our two main characters accept that they may indeed be fucked. I’m drawn in and definitely want to see this story through. Between that and Moritat’s Tony Moore-like art, I’m sticking.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis is probably the best intro we can get that doesn’t involve turning him into the beloved Zap-Brannigan-meets-Hank-Scorpio incarnation that Batman: The Brave and the Bold gave us. I don’t know when the whole “Aquaman is worthless” thing truly came into being. I’d like to think that it was something people silently agreed on for years, especially in relation to the first season of Superfriends and didn’t fully explode until that skit on the State where Superman gives the Superfriends missions, tells Aquaman to “go talk to some fish” and everyone begins laughing relentlessly at him. Either way, the guy has been a laughing stock and DC’s been trying so hard to make him work. Personally, I loved what they did with him last time they gave him a reboot with the One Year Later underwater Conan concept where he carried a sword and hung out with King Shark. That ruled pretty hard until Busiek left the book.

It’s a strong start. Aquaman acts like a badass to the point that getting shot in the head causes him to get slightly cut open in the temple, but he’s considered to be this big joke by the police and public. After years of stories about superheroes doing the right thing only to be hated for being menaces who everyone thinks are really evil, it’s pretty great to see a different, more light-hearted take on it. Granted, no matter how Aquaman tries, he’ll still never measure up to Namor. I bet if that asshole blogger guy asked Namor about what it’s like to be nobody’s favorite superhero, he would have flown off through the wall and come back later to tell him that he’s now that blogger’s mother’s favorite superhero. Then he’d punch him in the dick for good measure.

I tend to have faith in Johns’ storytelling and I like what he’s doing so far. As long as he doesn’t draw out the “Aquaman sucks” gimmick too long, I’m sticking.

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DC Comics: Run the Numbers

June 11th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

What people like this Mark Engbloom guy don’t understand is that my post about Ian Sattler’s comments wasn’t a reply. It was a dashed off “Your mama” or “u mad?” He said something stupid, and rather than coming with a point-by-point reply, I came with jokes published by his own company. It’s like joking about “White Power Rings.” No, they aren’t called that in the text. No, it isn’t a valid criticism. Yes, it is funny.

But fine. Let’s look at exactly why Sattler’s statement is the most clown shoes, two-faced thing to come out of DC since the last time somebody up there talked about how much they liked Milestone.

It’s so hard for me to be on the other side because it’s not our intention.

It’s not how we perceived it. We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters.”

That’s nice, but who cares about your intentions? If I’m stomping around with my big feet and I accidentally stomp on your toe and break it, I don’t get to say, “Yo my bad about your toe, dog, but that wasn’t my intention.” I can either apologize if I’m feeling sorry or I can move on. I don’t think forcing people to apologize is a worthwhile endeavor, either. I know that I gave enough insincere apologies as a kid and have seen enough as an adult to completely devalue the thought of a forced apology meaning anything at all.

When faced with criticism, you can either appease people or you can stonewall them. If you don’t think you did anything wrong, stick to your guns. “I don’t think it was racist” is perfectly fine. “We didn’t mean it, but also people say we’re mad sexist, too, isn’t that weird?” isn’t.

There is a reason behind it all. We don’t see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse DCU. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters. We have the Great Ten out there and I have counter statistics, but I won’t get into that.

The problem with this statement is that green, pink, and blue people don’t exist. In fact, comparing actual, real-life people to fake people when discussing real-life issues is a pretty screwed up thing to do, isn’t it? It’s saying, “Yes, I understand your complaints, but look over here! This thing that we made up is just like what you want, just a different shade! That’s the same thing, right?”

No, it really isn’t. The point of diversity is to reflect reality. If you’re bringing up imaginary people when talking about actual people… you probably should just stop talking. A real life example: you’re making a cartoon for kids. Your boss asks why there aren’t any kids in your show. You respond that there are several kids, like this dwarf, this baby dragon, this baby goblin, those are like kids, right? No.

If you have counter statistics… bring them out. Setting aside the fact that this isn’t about statistics at all (Who wants ##% of characters to fulfill some role? Straw men? Idiots? Let’s go with idiots.), show me what you’ve got. Here, I got a head start on them for you! I did a rough count and came up with 73 DCU covers in their August 2010 solicitations. I didn’t count CMX, Wildstorm, or Vertigo, so these are strictly books with characters owned by DC. There is one Brazilian woman, one Asian woman crying in a cemetery (and perhaps another in Birds of Prey, but I can’t tell through the mask), and five black people. Except, two of the black men are unnamed criminal henchmen, one is Azrael, one is Static, and the other is Bumblebee on Tiny Titans. I didn’t count the covers Damian appeared in, but probably should have, as he is at the very least part Arab and part Chinese. In contrast, there are eight alien characters who have recurring roles and seven blonde teenage girls.

So, please. Tell me about how you “strive very hard to have a diverse DCU.” There’s an equal number of talking monkeys and black women on your covers. Scooby Doo is on more covers than that.

John Stewart is the only Green Lantern to not show up on any covers. Hal, Kyle, Guy, Alan, all of those guys get covers. Hey, pop quiz! Does the JLA have a Luke Cage? No? Well… name a black supporting character in a DC Comic on the level of a Sam Wilson! Steel? Now name another. Or hey, name one on the level of a Robbie Robertson. Just Lucious Fox? Really? Whatever happened to Ron Troupe? Remember him? Married to Lois Lane’s sister, had a kid with her? Oh, right. Lucy Lane is back and superpowered. Ron and the baby are a footnote and a question mark.

DC Comics isn’t a racist company and it isn’t run by racists. This does not, however, mean that they cannot do and say stupid things that are racist. Killing Ryan Choi is not, in and of itself, racist. Ditching Ron Troupe and marginalizing John Stewart is not racist. Replacing Jason Rusch with a more boring version of Firestorm isn’t racist. These are perfectly valid story choices that, in a better world, would have taken place in stories that were worth reading.

The problem is the trend. Jason Rusch gives way to Ronnie Raymond. Kyle Rayner and John Stewart give way to Hal Jordan. Wally West and his multiracial family is replaced by Barry Allen and Iris West, a good ol’ down home American couple. Ryan Choi is replaced with his equally unlikely to support an ongoing series predecessor. Milestone is publicly courted and wakes up to find money on the dresser, with a note saying “Lose my number.” Despite the fact that white people are a global minority today, the official future of the DC Universe is about as lily white as it can get and most of the aliens are white people. In what world does that make sense?

When you consider the trend of how DC has treated its non-white characters (and the fact that this argument has to be phrased in terms of white vs ______ is foul), DC Comics comes off looking pretty stupid. I don’t care whether these characters fit into their Silver Age nostalgia or not. When, as a company, you have made a habit of marginalizing a specific type of character, introducing new characters that you’re going to let die on the vine in an attempt to show how “diverse” you are, and then talking out the side of your mouth in public…

Whatever. I don’t have time for things that don’t respect me. Kick rocks.

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This Week in Panels: Week 30

April 18th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Flying solo again this week, so I’ll toss in last week’s Street Fighter II Turbo, since my shop got it in late.

Booster Gold #31
Dan Jurgens

Brightest Day #0
Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin

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Black History Month 14: The Sambo Samba

February 14th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

jr_change.jpg firestorm.jpg
art from dc comics’s firestorm
This is besides the issue that some white comic creators create bland African-American characters.

Where is the African-American Guy Gardner? Where is the African-American Batman? Where is the African-American Joker? Booster Gold/Ted Kord Blue Beetle? Oracle? Wolverine? Spider-Man?

DC’s African American characters are either created to be the only person of color on a team (JSA, JLA, Teen Titans, Green Lantern Corps), or by editorial fiat to fill a diversity need (Firestorm).
–Valerie D’orazio, Three From WWII: The Twelve #2, JSA #12, Project Superpowers #0

When I was born, I was black. When I grow up, I’m black. When I’m ill, When I die, I’m black. But you – When you’re born, you’re pink. When you grow up, you’re white. When you’re ill, you’re green. When you go out in the sun, you go red. When you’re cold, you go blue. When you die, you’re purple. And you have the nerve to call me Colored?
–Malcolm X

I’ve got a habit of getting into arguments on the internet regarding race. I can’t help it, man, someone says something dumb and I feel compelled to respond. Next thing I know, it’s a week later and I’m waking up in a ditch.

Anyway, this post is about something that bugs me to death. I’m sick of hearing the word “token.” I don’t mean that I’m sick of “token” black characters.

I’m sick of people using it to describe black characters.

Token, quota hire, affirmative action case, all these words have the same root and work to the same point– the black person did not work for his position, he is less qualified, and he should not be where he is because he doesn’t deserve it. He’s only there because it’s politically correct, or editorially mandated, or because the team has to have a black character, doesn’t it?

Protip: Shut up. All you’re doing is reinforcing those ideas. Having one black guy on a team does not a token make. An editorial creation is just as valid as one from talent. It’s in the execution.

I’m gonna be honest and say that Val’s post up top there is what prompted this one. I had one all lined up about Deb Tiegel from Hitman (the best half german/half black character in comics), but I’m pushing it off for a day so that I can get this done.

In her post, she reviewed JSA #12 and said this:

The sequence with John Irons was also in need of some editing/quality control; John’s opening dialog with his wife sounded like pure exposition devoid of any human quality.

John Henry Irons is not in JSA #12. That is Jefferson Pierce, a black man with no facial hair and a wife and a grip of kids apparently (welcome to NEW EARTH). Irons is single, has a goatee, no wife, and no kids. He’s got a niece, though she’s already an established heroine in her own right.

When called on it, she said this:

I think the problem is that Johns wants to make the JSA the catch-all group that every other DC team is rolled into/connected with. Actually having Irons & the Infinity Inc cast make an appearance would make sense to me, as the two titles were historically linked to each other. But to bring not only JLA but Batman and the Outsiders…you need to have a realllly skilled hand to work within such a scope. I’m thinking a little past Johns and more like Busiek.

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. She didn’t confuse the two. It’s just that the book would have been better with John Irons, right? ’cause he is in a book with a cast of all new characters who don’t actually have a connection to the JSA. Also Geoff Johns is a bad writer and Kurt Busiek would write this story better.


The conversation continues and we get the gem above about bland black characters created by white dudes, and how we need the black Spider-Man, Wolverine, Joker, and so on.

The bland thing stuck in my craw. What is that about? White people can’t create interesting black people? This means that DC’s blacks all suck? Editorially created characters are bad? Yeah, sorry– no. Not the business. She closed the thread when Pedro from FBB asked her questions, which meant she didn’t get to answer any of mine.

However, I have a blog of my own and I just did my taxes tonight so I’m in a raw mood so I decided to do this post. Pedro responded to her earlier, but that kid is just trying to get some e-cred so don’t read his blog at all. He definitely doesn’t make any good points about re-appropriating characters, writers of a different race writing characters, and comics quality.

Let’s go down the list.

John Henry Irons (TV’s Not Jefferson Pierce): He’s about as editorially mandated as it gets, isn’t he? He started out as the only one of the four replacement Superman to not claim to be Superman. He was carrying on in his name because it was the right thing to do. He graduated to being one of Superman’s best friends, an integral member of the JLA, buddies with Plastic Man, and one of the foremost thinkers in the DCU. Here’s his blandest moment:

jla38-16.jpg jla39-16.jpg jla39-17.jpg jla39-18.jpg
jla40-10.jpg jla40-11.jpg jla40-12.jpg jla40-13.jpg
Did I say blandest? I lied. Dude has not only fooled an enemy who has taken over a decent portion of a city, but he has picked up on a plan from a teammate with little prompting, and come up with a way to take out that enemy.

DC’s African American characters are either created to be the only person of color on a team (JSA, JLA, Teen Titans, Green Lantern Corps), or by editorial fiat to fill a diversity need (Firestorm).

Blow by blow:
JSA: Jakeem Thunder is a member, and I guess Amazing Man is now, too. Jakeem is a kid with a magical wishing genie who didn’t have the benefit of a Bruce Wayne or Hal Jordan upbringing. He’s got an attitude, a rough edge or three, but he’s also trying to do right. That’s bland?

Mr. Terrific is a guy so smart that Batman copied some of his designs and regularly treats as an equal. He’s apparently the third smartest man on earth, too. Having trouble seeing the bland here.

Teen Titans: Ain’t no black people on this team.

JLA: I already went over Steel. John Stewart and Vixen are I guess who she was referring to? John Stewart is an equal GL with Hal, Guy, and Kyle. He’s portrayed as the most level-headed and may even have more willpower than his buddies according to a scene in GL where his willpower is too much for his ring in GL last month (month before last?). A guy with a wishing ring and that kind of skill? That’s pretty interesting, innit?

Vixen? She’s a question mark right now. Meltzer’s slipshod plotting left the story of what’s going on with her powers to Dwayne McDuffie, but suddenly she can duplicate the powers and skills of any superhuman she’s nearby. She can fake a Green Lantern ring. That’s a big deal, isn’t it?

Finally, Firestorm.

Poor, beleaguered Jason Rusch. First he’s seen as a ghetto-bound drug-dealing quota case and now he’s bland. Except… he’s a college-age kid who may be the most powerful metahuman on the planet. He’s got father issues, he’s inexperienced, he lost his best friend because of his powers, and now he’s searching for the mentor to the old Firestorm so that he can better learn how to take care of himself. He’s Spider-Man meets Phoenix.

Yeah. I’m not seeing the bland, boring, editorially-mandated black characters here. All of these people have been blessed with quality writers lately. Even before the past year or so, these characters never sunk to “token” status beyond what mouthbreathers on message boards had to say.

I’m not even a DC encyclopedia. I barely even like most DC books. I’ve read enough to know a little bit, though. I’m not talking out the side of my neck here. You can look all this up with a minimum of time on Google or in a comic shop.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had this issue with somebody. Around a year ago, I got into an argument with a different blogger. I’d link it, but she’s since updated her layout and that hosed the 140 comments across two posts where the relevant part of the conversation was. Long story short, she came out with the line that “all black characters are mandingos and cannot be rescued from their horrible origins.”

I wish that comments thread was still there so, so bad. You don’t even know.

Her reasoning is terrible and horrible in a few ways. First, it supports the idea that you can’t reclaim or improve something. Going by her logic, I got some family members who’re gonna be hoodlums their whole life and are going to be worthless because of that fact. You go to jail and come out a different man? Who cares, dog, you’re still a criminal.

Get outta here with that. You’re gonna look at Bendis’s Luke Cage and tell me he isn’t an improvement, in terms of realistic representation and suchlike, than the one from the ’70s? Falcon is always gonna be a sambo? Bishop is just there to make white women scared? *smh*

When you get down to calling black characters bland, mandingos, tokens, or whatever, and you aren’t naming names? You’re doing wrong. You’re painting a whole bunch of characters with an ugly, ugly brush.

I’m having trouble coming up with some tokens who still appear in comics. Triathlon, I guess? I’ve read like half a comic with him in it, so I don’t even know there. Honestly, who are some “token” characters?

You think that there are “some bland/token/boring/racist black characters?” Call out names. Otherwise, some of us get to play “Guess who” while the rest of us are just going “I knew that Luke Cage was a token! What’s he doing on the Avengers anyway?”

Leave the subliminals at home and call out names. Be specific and know what you’re talking about because someone (probably me, at this rate) will call you on it. At worst, you might learn how he isn’t a token. At best, you might gain a new appreciation for a character you never paid attention to.

Stop looking at them as “black characters.” Treat them like characters instead of pieces in your “This Is How Superteams Should Look” puzzle set. Superman isn’t a white character, why is Steel a black character? Why is Priest painted as a “black writer” instead of a “writer?”

But just know that when you’re calling someone a token, you’re denigrating their skills, their past, and their accomplishments. You’re treating that character as inherently lesser than his teammates, due solely to preconceived notions and the make-up of his team.

Be specific or don’t speak up at all.

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Indie Cred

March 1st, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I did a lot of purchasing at the NYCC. Oh man, did I. Curious? Here’s the list of what I came home with that was new, not counting magazines (Wizard with Claire and Nikki from Heroes on the cover, UVC Magazine) and sketches.

40 oz Collection – Jim Mahfood
Ares: God of War – Mike Oeming/Travel Foreman
Batgirl: Destruction’s Daughter
The Blvd Sketchbook volume 2.0 – John Paul Leon/Trevor Goring/Tommy Lee Edwards/Sean Chen/Bernard Chang
Diesel Sweeties: Pocket Sweeties Volume One – R Stevens
Diesel Sweeties: How I Blew My Thursday Night – R Stevens
DMZ v2: Body of a Journalist – Brian Wood/Riccardo Burchielli
Firestorm: The Nuclear Man: Reborn – Stuart Moore/Jamal Igle
The Five Fists of Science – Matt Fraction/Steven Sanders
Freddie E Williams II Sketchbook
Ghost Rider – Howard Mackie/Javier Saltares/Mark Texeira
Goats – Contains One Space Battle – Jonathan Rosenberg
Goats – A Tale of Two Comics – Jonathan Rosenberg
Grant Morrison: The Early Years – Timothy Callahan
JLA/Avengers – Kurt Busiek/George Perez
Justice League: A New Beginning – Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire
Kabuki Metamorphosis HC – David Mack
Khary Randolph Sketchbook
Modern Masters v3: Bruce Timm
Modern Masters v6: Arthur Adams
Modern Masters v8: Walter Simonson
Modern Masters v9: Mike Wieringo
Modern Masters v10: Kevin Maguire
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster v7
Nat Turner Encore Edition – Kyle Baker
One Page Filler Man – Jim Mahfood
Project Romantic – Various
Puttin’ the Backbone Back – Jim Mahfood
Runaways HC v2 – Brian K Vaughan/Adrian Alphona/Takeshi Miyazawa
Wigu: The Bravest Boy in the World – Jeffrey Rowland

Ouch, my wallet. Cons are bloody expensive.

I’ve already read Blokhedz, and a review on that is forthcoming. That Ghost Rider trade is the first seven or eight issues of the series that introduced Danny Ketch, and I bought it because I either have bad taste in comics or am a complete and utter masochist. Or maybe it’s good, I dunno. Kabuki: Metamorphosis rounds out my Kabuki collection, which is a good thing.

The Grant Morrison volume is a lit-crit look at Zenith, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, and Arkham Asylum. Yes! It also includes an interview with The God of All Comics in the back about the book and his work.

I got a little more superheroic stuff than I really wanted to. I’m not only a superhero reader. At least two fifths, and sometimes even three fifths, of my top five are non-supers. (100 Bullets, Kabuki, Stray Bullets.) (I also like bullets, I guess). Still, seven out of thirty-one ain’t bad, though the Modern Masters volumes technically aren’t comics. I also haven’t read a lot of this stuff, or haven’t read it in years at the very least. It’s probably 85-90% new content to me.

Here’s the kicker: I’m planning on reviewing all these books. Yeah, that’s right. It may be a grouped review, it may be a single review, but I want to put my thoughts out there about all of them, excepting only the Modern Masters because those are awesome by default, and the sketchbooks, because they aren’t exactly reviewable, save for the one by The Blvd.

I’ve also got the PC demo of the Marvel Trading Card game to look at, as well as a free copy of the Marvel Comic Book Creator software. Should be an interesting few weeks!

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Read Good Comics: Firestorm #33

February 28th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Firestorm has had a rocky run recently, but the quality has never wavered. Jason Rusch’s coming of age tale has been smart, interesting, and well-drawn. I even got Jamal Igle to sign the Firestorm trade I bought at the con that collects the One Year Later story arc… and is also the only collection out.

firestorm33_cover.jpg Yes, lads and ladies, DC’s crap trades department put out a trade of a series 20-odd issues in and are going to cancel the series with #35 in April. A few trades earlier on and Firestorm could’ve built an audience. C’mon, DC! You’ve got Time Warner backing you. If Marvel can trade every series ever, including Marvel Nemesis: The Imperfects, you can do it, too! The bookstores are the future!

No biggie, though! There’s nothing wrong with buying canceled books, especially ones that look as good as this. Stuart Moore and Jamal Igle had a great run, but Dwayne McDuffie and Ken Lashley are on tap for the final three issues. Here’s the solicit for #33.

The superstar creative team of Dwayne McDuffie (JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, STATIC), Dan Jurgens (Superman, Captain America) and Ken Lashley (The Flash) bring Firestorm to bold new heights! Jason Rusch and Prof. Martin Stein just want to get their lives back to normal, but the New Gods have other plans! When Orion comes looking for Prof. Stein, you can bet a throwdown’s not far behind! Guest-starring the Seven Soldiers’ Mister Miracle!

C’mon, now. You’re a comics fan on the internet. I know that you liked Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Dwayne McDuffie was behind a lot of the cool stuff on that show, so Firestorm #33 is pretty much guaranteed to deliver a good-sized bang for your three bucks.

Still not convinced? Look here for an interview and a quick preview. Jason Rusch is growing up, gaining confidence in his powers, and is still rookie enough to make Orion mad.

It drops today, it’s got New Gods, super-science, and a quality protagonist. We may not be able to save the series before it’s canceled, but we can read a good story along the way.

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Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Bl to Bu

January 12th, 2007 Posted by Gavok


Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973)

“They call me… Blade! Blade the Black Agent X!”

Times change, don’t they? The story that introduces Blade doesn’t so much go into his background, other than his hobby of offing vampires. He takes care of some of Dracula’s henchmen early on and then fights the big bad on a cruise ship. When Dracula has things won, one of his mind-controlled lady victims comes to jump his bones. This distracts Dracula enough that Blade can get back up. Dracula makes the decision to leave, though the boat will explode in moments. Blade tosses everyone off the boat and makes it to safety himself, knowing that he and Dracula will fight again one day.


Uncanny X-Men #317 (1994)

Before Blink was well-known for her role in Age of Apocalypse and Exiles, she showed up in regular 616 continuity as part of the Phalanx Covenant. Along with members of Generation X, she finds herself captured by the Phalanx.

When attacked by a being named Harvest, Blink uses her power to teleport him away while tearing him apart. Other than that, she follows the others as they attempt to escape, knowing that the Phalanx was unable to find a way to dampen their powers.

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Darling, I Don’t Know Why I Go to Extremes: Part 3

January 7th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Before we delve back into the insanity of what passed as a story in Extreme Justice, let’s look at what the various characters were up to when they weren’t baring their teeth and looking in-your-face. Captain Atom and Blue Beetle finally came to an understanding and started to get along. Firestorm ended up getting suspended from the team after his drinking problem got out of control. As for Amazing Man and Maxima, the two of them started to grow towards each other. Though at first, Amazing Man was offended due to the fact that Maxima only seemed to be interested after he powered up from his fight with Monarch’s quantum beasts. Also, there was this…

Maxima admitted that she was still culture-shocked from being on Earth. Almerac was advanced to the point that there was only one race and culture, so she was interested in a world with diversity. Amazing Man decided to start teaching her Earth customs in the form of books, music and television. During their look at TV, Maxima stumbled onto the porn channel, which immediately piqued her interests. Being from a planet that only believed in sex for the process of fertilization, she wasn’t quite prepared for… well, something X-rated.

Ah, fun. I can talk about Maxima and pornography all day, but I got a job to do and that job is discussing the Wonder Twins. Because, you see, I hate myself.

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Darling, I Don’t Know Why I Go to Extremes: Part 2

January 5th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Before I continue, I should point out that I have read worse comics than Extreme Justice. In actuality, the series wasn’t all bad. For instance, while the situations were idiotic, the characters were fine for the most part. There were some decent relationships like Captain Atom/Blue Beetle, Amazing Man/Maxima and Blue Beetle/Firestorm. In fact, Blue Beetle came out looking all right throughout this whole mess. He got to be his regular jokey self without Martian Manhunter yelling at him for not being serious. Plus he was actually useful in fights and wasn’t relegated to just hang out in the Bug and pilot.

As we last left our heroes, Captain Atom found himself before an unmasked Monarch, who was apparently Nathanial Adam. How could this be? The explanation was that when Adam was blown into the quantum field all those years ago (his origin), a quantum clone was created out of some alloy that escaped back to Earth while the real Nathanial Adam just hung out in space for a millennia, never taking the time to get rid of what had to be the dirtiest, nastiest pair of underwear in the universe.

The original Monarch showed up one day and the two became great friends. Monarch taught Adam much over the years, including the life Captain Atom stole from him. Monarch found a way out of the quantum field eventually and upon his death, sent his armor to Adam. Adam became the new Monarch and escaped. He felt that the original Monarch had the right idea of how to bring world peace, but spoiled it with some bad decisions.

The important thing from that gibberish is this: Captain Atom isn’t the real Nathanial Adam. Oh boy. You know how popular these storylines are. Just ask the many fans of Ben Reilly and Deadpool’s arch-nemesis T-Ray.

Nothing important happened with Monarch for a while, other than a bit where he had some “quantum beasts” attack Extreme Justice before destroying the creatures to make himself look like more of a hero to the on-looking crowd. The only important part to come out of this was Amazing Man absorbing the power of one of the creatures and permanently bulking up from it. That will come into play later.

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DC Solicitations, November 2006

August 22nd, 2006 Posted by david brothers

You can find the list, plus covers, over at Newsarama.

My commentary on the interesting books lies after the jump, and I’ve included the solicit text for them, too!
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